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Photos: Community says 'Thank you' to Burnaby Hospital front line workers

"We want to give back to the community just as much as we are a part of it."

Two simple words: thank you. 

That's what Parc retirement living head office and Mulberry PARC employees conveyed to front line workers at Burnaby Hospital on Wednesday (May 11) as hospital employees continue to put in heroic efforts. 

Parc retirement living arranged for Green Coast Coffee to be on location with its truck to provide employees with a free pick-me-up and a homemade treat during National Nurses Week.

They also brought back a popular sign of recognition during the pandemic and banged pots and pans in support. 

"We just want to appreciate the staff here because, you know, seniors rely on hospital services a lot, our community and we're located in Burnaby as well," Parc living retirement spokesperson Anna Louie told the NOW

"So we want to give back to the community just as much as we are a part of it." 

Burnaby Hospital has been the site of numerous outbreaks throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, which pushed hospital staff to the max. Employees have continued to keep patients and other staff members safe. 

"It's been a really tough year for a lot of the hospital front line workers and for seniors living industries," Louie added.

"With the government opening everything back up, everybody's planning to travel, everybody's going back to normal, there's no masks or anything, but COVID-19 is very much real and the reality for a lot of these people right here is working nine to five, maybe longer, in these situations and how COVID has changed their industries. 

"We want to give back because that's really hard for people mentally as well. These nurses [and other employees] decide to wake up every day and dedicate their lives to helping others. We just want to give back to them." 

The hospital got another boost last month when it was announced that 92 housekeeping workers would be brought back in-house after previously being contracted out to private companies for almost 20 years. 

"With better wages, many workers in this sector will be more economically secure," Gwenda Alexander, a housekeeper at Burnaby Hospital and local Hospital Employees' Union (HEU) chair, whose job recently transferred in-house. 

"They may be able to reduce hours or even let go of a second or third job they’ve taken to make ends meet."

The Hospital Employees' Union estimates that more than 4,000 health care workers across the province will be brought in-house by the end of this year.

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